In the past few years, online video has become an entrenched part of the marketing landscape. In January, 85% of U.S. Internet users watched online video, according to ComScore, and companies large and small are intent on capturing the attention of those viewers.
But in an environment dominated by the viral video and the clever ad campaign, can financial advisers stand out? Yes, but you need to be smart about how you integrate video into your marketing efforts. For advisers just starting out with video, here are five ideas to consider:
1. Introduce yourself and your company: These days, having a video on your website is de rigueur. Hire a professional videographer to produce a 30-second or one-minute video that describes what your firm does, how you do it and who you do it for. If you're comfortable on camera and don't mind talking about yourself, you may also want to do a more personal “bio” video where you tell a story about who you are and why you became an adviser.
2. Educate your clients and prospects: People learn in different ways, and many would prefer to watch a video about a subject they're interested in than read an article. You can connect with that audience by making brief educational videos that address common financial questions or concerns. These videos will demonstrate your expertise, provide valuable information, and help prospects get comfortable with you and your firm. If you host webinars or seminars, record these presentations and then share them on your website.
3. Create a video blog or share market updates: If you don't like to write, or simply don't have the time to do so, creating video blogs can be a great way to add new content to your website on a regular basis. This is an especially good option if you're an engaging public speaker who can talk off the cuff about the latest news or financial topics. Video is also a good way to share weekly or monthly market updates, especially since these can quite dry in their written form.
(Related Read: More advisers launching their own video series)
4. Share your news: If you're sharing your firm's latest news in a press release, consider adding a video as well. Statistics show that adding a video to your news release doubles the engagement rate, or the number of people who view, share, click or otherwise interact with your release. You also can make your firm's e-newsletter more engaging by supplementing some of the content with a video, or even doing a video-only newsletter.
5. Jump on a trend: I'm not advocating that you piggyback on every meme or try to create your own viral video — that's a recipe for a marketing disaster. But you can still keep an eye out for trends in online video and participate if you think it's appropriate. A case in point is the ALS ice bucket challenge. I saw several advisers participate in this challenge and share the videos on their social media accounts. It wouldn't be the right move for every firm, but for some, it was a way to have fun and demonstrate their support for a good cause.
The fact is that as an adviser, you can't afford not to take advantage of the opportunity to differentiate yourself through video marketing. Today, online video is less of a marketing option than it is a marketing requirement. So grab your video camera or smartphone and get started.
Kristen Luke is president and chief executive of Wealth Management Marketing Inc.